Bimblebox Nature Refuge.
Bimblebox Nature Refuge.

YOUR SAY: Mining will impact the Bimblebox environs

Bimblebox refuge

CLAIMS that Bimblebox Nature Refuge is not in the part of the Waratah coal mining lease (DM 18/01/2020) that the company plans to mine.

In fact the proposal calls for two open cut coal mines in the eastern half of the refuge and two underground mines in the western half as well as mining impacts in adjacent properties.

The Queensland Government acknowledges that underground mining will cause surface subsidence that will impact surface hydrology and the plant and wildlife values of the uncleared half of the refuge.

It calls for an evaluation every five years of the extent of the damage.

The vegetation above the other half would be cleared for the open cut mines and supporting infrastructure.

Lagoon Creek along the western border of the property will be diverted for one open cut mine.

Mining will adversely impact on environmental values to such an extent that multiple offsets are required to try to compensate for the damage.

Satellite images show surrounding properties as extensively cleared to the north east and south.

Government land clearing data for the Jericho sub-bioregion of the Desert Uplands shows much of the area has been cleared and continues to be cleared.

The refuge was gazetted in 2001 by the Queensland Government to prevent its clearing yet still allow low intensity grazing so that environmental values would be protected and the land could provide income for the land owners.

The gazettal meant that the refuge became part of the national system of permanently protected areas.

While legislation allows mining anywhere in Queensland save in national parks mining in protected areas must not harm the values for which the area was created as it would mean a net loss of those values for the nation and future generations.

The owners of the refuge signed strict management agreements with both the Queensland and Australian governments to manage invasive species.

Controlling non-native buffel grass from neighbouring properties is a constant and expensive demand on their resources.

Scientific research on grazing and protection of environmental values conducted in this refuge and other properties in the Desert Uplands found values were higher where land is not cleared and grazing intensity is lighter.

Higher vegetation cover also creates a better chance for more rain so light grazing and ensuring well managed native vegetation is a win for everyone in the long-term.

Patricia Julien, Walkerston

Spending locally

I WAS watching the local news the other evening and could not believe was being said.

The Chamber of Commerce coming up with a plan to get consumers to spend locally.

The reasons given for not spending were way off the mark.

Firstly, wages have fallen so far behind the cost of living that it is a struggle to survive let alone throw money at local business. Mind you, we spend what we can.

When there is a case before the courts for an increase in wages what organisation stands up against that case? You guessed it, the (Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry).

Pensioners not getting much back from their investments due to low interest rates, pension increases failing to keep up, fly in and fly out workforce not taken from Mackay, excessive price increases dramatically increasing the cost of living.

Without consumers having money in their pockets, business will struggle and some will fail. Has the chamber studied the situation and have the fortitude to tell its members what are the real reasons for this downturn are? I think not.

Even removing penalty rates for some contributes to this mess we are in.

Shopping online is done because it is much cheaper than the same local produce so you can't blame those with depleted incomes to do otherwise.

Graham Lomax, East Mackay

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